Wednesday, May 27, 2009

And In The Opposite Corner...

Pennsylvania takes another side in the Gay Marriage Polito Battle...

Via Pittsburgh Post Gazette...
HARRISBURG -- When it comes to the subject of legalizing gay and lesbian marriage in Pennsylvania, two state senators are going in totally opposite directions.

Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, today announced plans to introduce a bill that would offer "full and equal marriage rights to same-sex couples in Pennsylvania." The measure also would recognize same-sex marriages conducted in other states.

"There has never been a more propitious time for Pennsylvania to embrace equality and enshrine the civil right of all Pennsylvanians to marry," Mr. Leach said.

But don't tell that to Sen. John Eichelberger, R-Blair. He wants to strengthen Pennsylvania's 1996 law, the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as only permitted between one man and one woman.

Mr. Eichelberger has a bill to amend the state constitution to define marriage as only allowable between one man and one woman. He thinks that would make it more difficult for an "activist court" decision to overturn the 1996 law.

So far, three states, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa, have legalized gay and lesbian marriage, and two others, Vermont and Maine, have laws that take effect in September to do the same. New Hampshire is close to enacting such a law.

The California Supreme Court this week upheld that state's law to ban gay marriages, but the court allowed the continuation of 18,000 same-sex marriages that took place before the ban was enacted.

Some churches refuse to perform gay marriages on religious or faith-basis grounds. Mr. Leach said his bill "would not require religious institutions to perform any marriage ceremonies or recognize any marriages that they do not wish to sanction."

Fingers Crossed!

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